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Druid Training: Becoming A Caretaker of the Earth

by Ivan McBeth

The era in which we find ourselves, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is a pivotal point in the evolution of the human species, and, indeed, for the entire planet. It is an incredibly exciting time to be alive. Yet, as a race, we have never been unhappier. Our health is deteriorating, and we are surrounded by war. Every day of our lives, many species become extinct, never to appear again. The psychic atmosphere enveloping our planet is one of terror, scarcity, greed and violence. What is going on?

The Hindus say that, somewhere in the first millennium CE, we entered the Kali Yuga, literally the Age of Kali, where we lost our way and started to spiral into a dangerous blindness, misled by illusion. The fruits of the Kali Yuga can be seen as the present heartless, mechanized society, ruled by greed and fear, leaving devastation and pollution in its wake. We as a race are poisoning ourselves: the human race has lost its soul.

As philosophers and practitioners of a nature-based spirituality, Druids would say that these physical manifestations are not the actual cause of our problems, but are the symptoms of something far deadlier. Underlying it all is our separation from Spirit. We are the only race on Earth that is alienated from the Source, the sacred unity that is Creation.

But all is not lost. The Kali Yuga is emphatically no failure of the human spirit; it can be seen to be a necessary phase in the cyclical unfolding of evolution. It is the darkness before dawn, the crisis before a profound healing, a final purification before a golden age of harmony, peace and wholeness. The Druids would say that the Apocalypse isn’t a prophesy about to happen: it is here and now. The literal meaning of the word ‘Apocalypse’ means Unveiling. The truth of our situation is being revealed, now, at the eleventh hour. In fact, this is the Hour.

We are faced with three simple, stark choices: Firstly, do we suffocate in our own toxic waste and ignorance (suicide)? Secondly, do we desperately attempt to escape the pain and pollution we have created, and take our dis-ease elsewhere, to a new, pristine place where we can rape and pillage to our heart’s content (ascension)? Thirdly, will we trust, follow our hearts, attempt to heal as best we can the damage we have caused, and create a new world out of the ashes of the old? Will we dare to re-connect Heaven with Earth? This last option is the way of the Druid.

Humans are bridges. We are organic bridges that, when fully realized and empowered, connect Heaven with Earth and unite the realms of existence as One. What will it take before we realize our true role? Waiting for a Messiah to come and ‘save’ us is missing the point, and creating the circumstances for a very long wait indeed! We must find the sacred that lies within ourselves, and then take action. Now. We are the ones we have been waiting for!

The truth of the matter is – and it is very easy to forget this - humans are beings of beauty and power. We possess an awesome magic: whatever we choose to believe will manifest. We must increase our awareness enough to realize this fact, and very soon: there is no more time available. The time for choice, and action, is now.

Druid training focuses on two main areas: Awareness and Geomancy. Awareness is an alignment with the way the power of the Universe, and reality, truly flows. It is said that a person who lives his life according to natural law is seen to possess magical powers through the eyes of the ignorant. Awareness is a skill that can be learned and increased indefinitely; a Druid trains unceasingly to make a difference in the world.

Geomancy means, literally, the practice of divination, and of building a deeply healing relationship with the Earth. In the East it is called Feng Shui. At one time there was a Geomancer in every community, and was a highly respected profession. By learning how to communicate with the Earth, we are empowered to make a real difference.

The Spirit of the Land is an alive, conscious, feeling, highly magical being in its own right. We need to learn to treat her in the same way as we would like to be treated ourselves: with gentleness and respect, with love and appreciation for the beauty and qualities she possesses. Most importantly, we need to cultivate the art of listening, tuning in to the way in which the universe around us – specifically, the spirit of place - likes to converse. For instance, if we are waiting to communicate with nature through the medium of words, we will probably miss the rattling, whispering and waving of the leaves of the trees all around us. When we listen correctly to Gaia, we find that she loves to communicate and has lots to say!

Someone who actively cares for the wellbeing of this wonderful planet through the skilled practice of Awareness and Geomancy is called a Caretaker of the Earth. A Caretaker of the Earth uses what skills he or she has developed in order to align with the Earth, to love the Earth, heal the Earth, clean up the Earth, and educate others about the Earth. Every bit of time spent in caretaking is of great value.

Druid training is also focused on finding and encouraging our magical child to emerge into our modern, everyday lives. A suitable, safe and nurturing space (known as a container) is created in which this re-connection may be facilitated. Once the process has started, however, it gathers momentum quickly and can rapidly unfold. We discover that the magical child’s way of life is completely integrated with the sacred, making every breath a celebration of life itself. Joy!

In conclusion, the universe is unfolding according to ancient cycles and sacred law. We are in the final pivotal stages of the present transformational cycle: will we do it right this time? Although it sometimes seems quite dark and hopeless, this is actually our time of power. Our power is expressed through making choices, together, and by manifesting those choices in the physical world. It is important that we all take our rightful places as empowered, responsible individuals, yet at the same time integrate fully with our communities. In this way, as magical children living fully in our hearts, we will create a healthy, loving, abundant future for ourselves, our Great Mother, and all beings.

Ivan McBeth lives near Montpelier, VT. He founded, with his partner Fearn, the Green Mountain Druid Order based at Worcester, Vermont. He leads 3-year long Druid trainings, shamanic healing courses, and teaches classes in healing and geomancy. He is co-creator of the "Burlington Earth Clock’ stone circle by the bike path in Oakledge Park, Burlington, Vermont, and the author of a book called ‘The Crystal Journey.’ IvanMcBeth@aol.com


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